Passenger pinned in, fatally injured in crash

Van Buren County
Left: What's left of a vehicle that rolled off a county road, coming to rest just feet away from a home (right). (Van Buren County Sheriff's Office)

ANTWERP TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Investigators are trying to piece together the moments leading up to a rollover crash that threw the driver 60 feet from his vehicle and fatally wounded the passenger.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. Sunday on County Road 657 and 66th Avenue in Antwerp Township, northeast of Lawton.

Investigators say a 29-year-old man from the Paw Paw area was driving south on CR 657 when his vehicle veered off the east side of the road. The driver overcorrected and lost control, according to investigators.

The vehicle took out telephone lines as it rolled, investigators say. (Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office)

The vehicle again left the road on the east side, shearing off a small tree and telephone wires before rolling several times, coming to rest just feet away from a home.

Passersby helped both the driver and his passenger, a 50-year-old from the Lawton area, until deputies arrived.

Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to free the passenger from the wreckage. Both men were taken to nearby hospitals by ambulance with serious injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.

The passenger died Monday as a result of his injuries, authorities said. His name was not immediately released pending notification of his family.

Investigators said speed was a “major contributing factor” in the crash. It’s not clear if drugs or alcohol also played a role.

Deputies said the driver was not wearing his seat belt. It’s unclear if his passenger was restrained.